The name “Namib” means “vast place,” which is a perfect way to describe the coastal desert in southern Africa, almost completely uninhabited by humans. The silence of the Namib must be deafening, but it didn’t deter Spanish photographer Álvaro Sánchez-Montañés from exploring the arid landscape. Inspired by an article he read about the desert’s abandoned diamond mines, he discovered the ghost town, Kolmanskop — a former mining village. When he arrived in Africa, he saw the abandoned homes for himself. The rooms in the dilapidated structures had been filled with sand from the strong desert winds. Nature had slowly reclaimed the space over time, and it was a surreal vision. Visit Sánchez-Montañés’ dreamlike series Desert Indoors, which we first spotted on Visual Standpoint, in our gallery. Then, see how other artists have been inspired by abandoned spaces over here.